Anonymous Olde English


The Woefull Lamentation Of Jane Shore - Poem by Anonymous Olde English

The woefull lamentation of Jane Shore, a goldsmith's wife in London, sometime king Edward IV. his concubine. To the tune of 'Live with me,' &c.

If Rosamonde, that was so faire,
Had cause her sorrowes to declare,
Then let Jane Shore with sorrowe sing,
That was beloved of a king.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

In maiden yeares my beautye bright
Was loved dear of lord and knight;
But yet the love that they requir'd,
It was not as my friends desir'd.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

My parents they, for thirst of gaine,
A husband for me did obtaine;
And I, their pleasure to fulfille,
Was forc'd to wedd against my wille.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

To Matthew Shore I was a wife,
Till lust brought ruine to my life;
And then my life I lewdlye spent,
Which makes my soul for to lament.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

In Lombard-street I once did dwelle,
As London yet can witness welle;
Where many gallants did beholde
My beautye in a shop of golde.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

I spred my plumes, as wantons doe,
Some sweet and secret friende to wooe,
Because chast love I did not finde
Agreeing to my wanton minde.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

At last my name in court did ring
Into the eares of Englandes king,
Who came and lik'd, and love requir'd,
But I made coye what he desir'd.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Yet Mistress Blague, a neighbour neare,
Whose friendship I esteemed deare,
Did saye, 'It was a gallant thing
To be beloved of a king.'
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

By her persuasions I was led,
For to defile my marriage-bed
And to wronge my wedded husband Shore,
Whom I had married yeares before.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

In heart and mind I did rejoyce,
That I had made so sweet a choice;
And therefore did my state resigne,
To be King Edward's concubine.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

From city then to court I went,
To reape the pleasures of content;
There had the joyes that love could bring,
And knew the secrets of a king.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

When I was thus advanc'd on highe,
Commanding Edward with mine eye,
For Mrs. Blague I in short space
Obtainde a livinge from his Grace.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

No friende I had, but in short time
I made unto promotion climbe;
But yet for all this costlye pride,
My husbande could not mee abide.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

His bed, though wronged by a king,
His heart with deadlye griefe did sting;
From England then he goes away
To end his life beyond the sea.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

He could not live to see his name
Impaired by my wanton shame;
Although a prince of peerlesse might
Did reape the pleasure of his right.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Long time I lived in the courte,
With lords and ladies of great sorte;
And when I smil'd, all men were glad,
But when I frown'd, my prince grewe sad.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

But yet a gentle minde I bore
To helpless people, that were poore;
I still redrest the orphans crye,
And sav'd their lives condemnd to dye.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

I still had ruth on widowes tears,
I succour'd babes of tender yeares;
And never look'd for other gaine
But love and thankes, for all my paine.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

At last my royall king did dye,
And then my dayes of woe grew nighe;
When crook-back Richard got the crowne,
King Edwards friends were soon put downe.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

I then was punisht for my sin,
That I so long had lived in;
Yea, every one that was his friend
This tyrant brought to shameful end.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Then for my lewd and wanton life,
That made a strumpet of a wife,
I penance did in Lombard-street,
In shamefull manner in a sheet:
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Where many thousands did me viewe,
Who late in court my credit knewe;
Which made the teares run down my face,
To think upon my foul disgrace.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Not thus content, they took from mee
My goodes, my livings, and my fee,
And charg'd that none should me relieve,
Nor any succour to me give.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Then unto Mrs. Blague I went,
To whom my jewels I had sent,
In hope therebye to ease my want,
When riches fail'd, and love grew scant.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

But she denyed to me the same,
When in my need for them I came;
To recompense my former love,
Out of her doores shee did me shove.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

So love did vanish with my state,
Which now my soul repents too late;
Therefore example take by mee,
For friendship parts in povertie.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

But yet one friend among the rest,
Whom I before had seen distrest,
And sav'd his life, condemn'd to die,
Did give me food to succour me:
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

For which, by lawe, it was decreed
That he was hanged for that deed;
His death did grieve me so much more,
Than had I dyed myself therefore.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Then those to whom I had done good
Durst not afford mee any food;
Whereby I begged all the day,
And still in streets by night I lay.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

My gowns beset with pearl and gold,
Were turn'd to simple garments old;
My chains and gems and golden rings,
To filthy rags and loathsome things.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Thus was I scorn'd of maid and wife,
For leading such a wicked life;
Both sucking babes and children small,
Did make their pastime at my fall.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

I could not get one bit of bread,
Whereby my hunger might be fed:
Nor drink, but such as channels yield,
Or stinking ditches in the field.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

Thus, weary of my life, at lengthe
I yielded up my vital strength
Within a ditch of loathsome scent,
Where carrion dogs did much frequent:
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

The which now since my dying daye,
Is Shoreditch call'd, as writers saye;
Which is a witness of my sinne,
For being concubine to a king.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

You wanton wives, that fall to lust,
Be you assur'd that God is just;
Whoredome shall not escape his hand,
Nor pride unpunish'd in this land.
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

If God to me such shame did bring,
That yielded only to a king,
How shall they scape that daily run
To practise sin with every one?
Then maids and wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

You husbands, match not but for love
Lest some disliking after prove;
Women, be warn'd when you are wives,
What plagues are due to sinful lives:
Then, maids and wives, in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.


Comments about The Woefull Lamentation Of Jane Shore by Anonymous Olde English

There is no comment submitted by members..



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



[Report Error]